The United States Department of Commerce has announced a new strategy to boost the international tourism industry following the devastation of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Reuters.com, the Commerce Department unveiled its National Travel and Tourism Strategy, which sets goals to welcome 90 million international visitors by 2027 and achieve estimated annual spending of $279 billion.
Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said the government needs to do more to support the resurgence of travel and tourism because “there are a lot of industries that are well past COVID – travel and tourism is not. not”.
Raimondo also wants travel to become “more resilient, sustainable and fair”.
In addition to setting international tourism targets, the government agency is seeking to modernize and streamline entry procedures for international visitors and reduce COVID-related restrictions that complicate visits.
The United States still requires incoming tourists to show proof of vaccinations and nearly all international air passengers to test negative before travel, both of which have been pushed back by airlines across America.
Raimondo said the testing protocols were acting as a “barrier” to the travel industry’s recovery and she expressed that frustration to US President Joe Biden and his administration.
Brand USA CEO Chris Thompson also announced new partnerships with companies designed to boost tourism, including Disney, Comcast and state tourist boards.
“The travel tourism strategy is based on four pillars,” said Thompson. “First, promote the United States as a travel destination; second, to facilitate travel to and within the United States; third, ensuring diverse, inclusive and accessible travel experiences; and fourth, fostering resilient and sustainable tourism.
The National Travel and Tourism Strategy also includes promoting more diverse tourism experiences beyond coastal states, reducing industry contributions to climate change, and building a sector resilient to natural disasters and threats. for public health.
Before the pandemic, the United States welcomed 79.4 million international visitors, a figure that dropped to 19.2 million in 2020 and rose to 22.1 million in 2021. International tourism spending reached 239.4 billion in 2019 but fell to $81 billion during the pandemic.